Skip to main content
_FB_2018-Icons-finalized-cleaned-up_new_FB_2018-Icons-finalized-cleaned-up_newGroup 9
Back
Scroll to top

7 Tips to Help You Protect Your Identity


It’s more than a little disconcerting when you’re checking your credit card transactions and see a purchase or two there that you know you didn’t make.

This is what happens when your identity and other personal information has become compromised by fraudsters.

To help protect your personal data, we’ve compiled the following list of handy tips:

1. Follow best practices when managing your accounts online.

2. Be wary of calls from unknown numbers or people.

­­Scammers often present unsolicited requests for purchase verification, as someone at the IRS or other government organization, a sudden beneficiary of a large lump sum of cash, or as a seller of a “once in a lifetime opportunity.”

Invariably, their script involves pressure and scare tactics—an especially popular one is something along the lines of “in order to get this deal you must do this right now. It won’t be available after I hang up.”

Alternately, to scare you, they might threaten that your personal financial information has already been compromised. Don’t hesitate to hang up and call or visit your local First Bank branch during business hours. We’re happy to help you verify any and all transactions on your accounts.

3. Register on the national “Do Not Call List to stem the tide of telemarketers.

Note: the Do Not Call List does not apply to businesses with which you have open accounts (like your bank or credit card company).

4. Don’t open emails or click on links from unfamiliar sources.

Links are handy doors for viruses that can scan your computer for personal information or completely take it over and crash it.

Mitigate risk by installing reputable virus protection software.

5. Don’t give out personal information like your insurance, Medicare, credit card, bank account, PINs, passwords, or Social Security number over the phone or through email.

Keep in mind that Medicare does not pay for supplies, services, or drugs not recommended and prescribed by your physician. Call your local Medicare office (if you don’t know it, try 1-800-MEDICARE) or contact your insurance agency for questions or suspicious activity on those accounts.

6. Be wary of saying “yes.”

If you’re approached by someone you don’t know outside a store or restaurant, and they seem to have an urgent issue that only you (or your money) can help them with, take a moment to assess the situation before agreeing. Call the police to help, if needed, or report the stranger to the nearby store manager.

7. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

Everyone likes a deal, but if a person stops by your home with an unbelievable repair or remodel deal, it could be a scam or a way for them to assess your home for a future robbery. Research every contractor you’re considering for home projects and don’t pay for services upfront.

The same goes for offers to refinance your home or other loans/debts. Read the fine print on the information you’re being offered. Talk with your local First Bank associate to make sure the offer is genuine and worth your investment.

Take Heart

Although you should remain vigilant, there is good news. Instances of identity theft and fraud are on the decline overall, according to an article from Fortune.com, and this is thanks in large part to consumers like you becoming more savvy about how, when, and where their information is shared or stored.

Other Handy Resources

Want to do more reading about fraud and identity theft prevention? Check out any one of these resources:

Trending Topics

Personal Loan Rates In Sanford, NC

If you live in Sanford, NC, and are looking for some of the best personal loan rates in the area, your local First Bank can help. We offer personal loans with flexible…

Your Community Bank in North Carolina

Are you wondering how your community bank stacks up against some of the national banks in North Carolina? Well, don’t believe that community banks versus big banks comparisons are always…

What Are 15 Year Mortgage Rates?

What are 15-year mortgage rates? It seems like a long time doesn’t it? But when you really think about it, 15 years is nothing. Think of all the things you’ve…

Where To Get 20 Year Mortgage Rates

When you’re ready to buy a house, it’s easy to get caught up in all of the excitement of shopping and forget about the financial part. Once you’ve found the…

Best Small Business Bank in Wilmington, NC

If you're looking for the best small business bank in Wilmington, NC, look to your local First Bank. Our business banking services are designed to meet the needs of businesses of…

College Savings Account in Wilmington, NC

Whether you’re a parent looking to put away money for your child’s university tuition or a high school student trying to save some spending money for college, a savings account…

How to Apply for a Small Business Loan in Florence, SC

Every successful business began with an idea. In most cases, that idea was followed by asking the common question of how to apply for a small business loan. In Florence,…

Best Savings Account Rates in Albemarle, NC

The Simple Dollar lists 100 Great Tips for Saving Money for Those Just Getting Started. At the top of the list? Finding the best savings account rates. In Albemarle, NC,…

How to Get a Personal Loan in Asheville, NC

The average credit card APR in October of 2014 was 15.07%. With such rates, sometimes a personal loan is a more cost-efficient way of getting your hands on the money…

Best Checking Account Rates In Albemarle, NC

If you live in Albemarle, NC, you can enjoy some of the best checking account rates in the state by banking with First Bank. We have two branches in Albemarle located…